7 Less-Obvious Relationship Mistakes That Drive Apart Even The Happiest Couples

How to ensure your partner stays.

Last updated on Dec 08, 2023

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One thing I have learned as a marriage and intimacy therapist is that our role models have fallen short in instructing us how to have a thriving marriage or long-term relationship. It’s not their fault; they just did not know.

The good news is that there are guides out there, and resources inside of each one of us, that could help us experience the committed relationship we would love to have. So read between the lines in this article!


RELATED: 8 Relationship Problems Way Worse Than Cheating

Here are 7 less-obvious relationship mistakes that drive apart even the happiest couples:

1. Do what is comfortable for you

Don’t extend yourself and only give of yourself when it is convenient.

Even though all areas of life — including the financial and career realm and even the health realm — beckon us to be a little uncomfortable (try having a good workout without elevating your heart rate or having a good yoga routine without stretching a little past what is comfortable), treat the relationship realm differently and think that relationships work staying in that comfort zone.




2. Do not develop feeling skills — especially if you are a man

See feelings as a waste of time, listening as unnecessary, and believe that there is no need to be careful how you express yourself. Expect your partner to want to be close to you even if they don't feel connected or close to you.  

Even though one of the most important sources of well-being in life is to have empathy for others and experience empathy from others, live on the surface, and not get to know your partner or be vulnerable with your partner.

RELATED: Your Whole Relationship Can Be Understood Through The Lens Of The First Moment You Met


3. Treat your partner as if they are a clone of yourself

Don’t try to be understanding of the differences and insist on constant agreement. Even though it is healthy for each partner to be their unique selves and is necessary for healthy passion to do so, do your best to squelch any conflict or deviating opinions from you.

4. Only arrange dates on your anniversary and each other’s birthday

Otherwise, there are many good TV shows to watch and your evenings can be taken up with surfing the net because great information is abundant out there. Your partner’s need for attention should be trivialized and seen as unimportant.

Even though all living organisms even plants need some attention, expect that your relationship should deviate from that rule and should thrive even if you rarely think about what your partner might need from you.

RELATED: Stop Focusing On Your Marriage So Much — And It May Improve


5. When it comes to intimacy, don’t risk it

Don’t express something new and don’t deviate from your routine. Keep it vanilla and expect your partner to be as excited as the first time you were intimate together.  

Don’t expand your pleasure zone with your partner. That may be more fun than your parents ever had together and you wouldn’t want to be less miserable than they were together.

6. Focus on the plethora of negative and hurtful things your partner has done

If you forgive, you just may be hurt again, so keep that wall up and then you won’t be so disappointed when your flawed partner doesn’t come through for you once in a while.



The other 90 percent of the time when your partner is doing things for you and showing you love are just things that happen in between the things you should pay attention to — when your partner disappoints you in some small way.


7. Use your partner as a receptacle for all your pain and frustration

Yell when you are angry and withdraw when you are not getting your way. These fight or flight mechanisms will continue to help you release or avoid your tension even if it destroys your relationship.

RELATED: 10 Signs You're The Problem In Your Relationship

Todd Creager is a marriage and intimacy therapist, author, and speaker.